The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has asked for investigation into the alleged procurement of substandard equipment totalling N11,000,000,000.00 (Eleven billion naira) by the management of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF).
The group also urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to swiftly bring those culpable to justice, describing it as a violation of the NPTF Act 2019.
This was disclosed on Sunday in a press statement signed by Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL.
The statement demanded a thorough, painstaking and dispassionate investigation into the issues surrounding the controversial management of the trust fund.
"AFRICMIL is following developments in this matter and expresses huge support for ICPC in this monumental task. In line with the Commission’s customary adherence to professionalism, we urge a thorough, painstaking and dispassionate engagement with all the issues surrounding the controversial management of the Trust Fund.
The group on October 6, 2021, urged the ICPC to get to the root of the “scandalous breach” of the Act establishing the NPTF, as well as the complete disregard of the recommendations in the KPMG report which set the ground rules for prudent management of the Trust Fund.
The statement further noted, “There is no doubt that ICPC will find out that the firm disregard for due process by the Executive Secretary is at the heart of the procurement of poor-quality security equipment and machinery for the Nigeria Police Force which has outraged many people across the country, including the Inspector of General of Police.
"AFRICMIL findings revealed that among the equipment said to have been purchased for police personnel, the bulletproof vests, helmets and some of the Toyota Buffalo vehicles fell far short of the required standard. AFRICMIL urged ICPC to scrutinize the equipment and other items procured to see whether they meet the needs of the police, the statement revealed.
"ICPC should be interested in investigating what the sum of N722,671,942 out of the N1, 616,883,668 released as takeoff grant for the secretariat of the Trust Fund was used for. This amount was said to have been spent within five months even as accommodation and other necessary equipment had been provided free by the Nigeria Police Force.
“A situation where the Executive Secretary conducts business without the consent of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees or, in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Procurement, literally usurps the powers of the Board in flagrant violation of Sections 11(b) and 12(1)a of NPTF Act 2019, is gross misconduct that should not be condoned by the ICPC and citizens who mean well for the police and our country.
"AFRICMIL believes the police trust fund fraud is one of the huge interests to the people because of the institution and the personalities involved. The organisation said it had confidence in ICPC to deal with the issue professionally in the interest of justice."